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Better Golf through Better Fitness

March 2011, Issue 3
The Golf Guru Newsletter

As a Personal Fitness Trainer I'm often asked which muscles are most used playing golf.

The short answer: ALL of THEM!

However, people want to know which specific muscles they might spend their time on to improve their golf swing and the health of their body, especially the back. Although many muscles are activated playing golf, there is special emphasis on certain key muscle groups during a golf swing. I call these muscles the BIG 3.

Read below to learn more!

The BIG 3

1. The Core

2. Hamstrings

3. Glutes

Muscles of the Core
The core muscles include the abs, obliques, and serratus among others. These are vital muscles in golf (and in life!) and are responsible for flexing and extending the torso as well as rotational movements, which are put to major use in a golf swing. These muscles are also powerful stabilizers of your posture and almost any movement you do.

Weakness and inflexibility in the core muscles will effect every part of your posture and golf swing. Typically golfers with weak abs will have lower back issues as well, along with tight hamstrings, resulting in very poor swing mechanics. This causes pain and stiffness in the lower back and hips during and after a round of golf or practice at the range.
See Tawny's recommended Core exercises for golf

The Hamstrings

The back of the upper leg is the hamstring muscle. It attaches at the bottom of the pelvis and below the knee. It is primarily responsible for bringing your foot up behind you toward the butt, and for straightening the torso after bending forward at the waist. This muscle also helps stabilize the partially bent forward position known as "golf posture".

Any weakness, inflexibility or lack of endurance in this muscle will have a profoundly poor effect on your golf swing and game. Even if you start the round well, fatiguing hamstrings will probably be the main reason for your swing falling apart later in the round. You will then see the tendency to "top" the ball, hitting it thin and low on the ground.
See Tawny's recommended Hamstring exercise for golf

The Glutes

The glutes are one of largest, most powerful muscle groups in the body. The gluteal muscle group (the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus) are strong hip extensors and flexors.

Strong glute muscles assist your golf swing by stabilizing the hips in golf posture. This allows power and clubhead speed to begin in your legs and transfer to the core muscles as you begin the downswing, continuing into impact and turning and rotating into the follow-through.
See Tawny's recommended Glute exercise for golf

Rule School
What is the proper procedure if a player decides her ball is unplayable?

Rule School
Under Rule 28 - Ball Unplayable

The player may declare her ball unplayable at any place on the course except when the ball is in a water hazard. The player is the sole judge as to whether her ball is unplayable.

If the player deems her ball to be unplayable, she shall, under penalty of one stroke:

a. Play a ball as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played;

b. Drop a ball within two club-lengths of the spot where the ball lay, but not nearer the hole;


c. Drop a ball behind the point where the ball lay, keeping that point directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped, with no limit to how far behind that point the ball may be dropped.
Note: If the uplayable ball is in a bunker, the player may proceed under Clause a, b or c. If she elects to proceed under Clause b. or c., a ball must still be dropped in the bunker. The ball may be cleaned when lifted under this Rule.

Thanks for reading the Golf Guru Newsletter! I welcome all feedback, suggestions, etc.I would love to add an "Ask Golf Guru" section, so please submit any golf swing or golf fitness questions you may have. Please check back as I add info and develop my new Golf Guru website.

Please forward this link to any golfers you know who may be interested. Tawny

Tawny McLellan has owned and operated the fitness guru personal training studio in Ojai, California since 1998. Tawny holds national personal fitness training certifications from the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and National Federation of Personal Trainers (NFPT).
Tawny lives with her husband, Mike and two wolfdogs, Cheyenne & Zeff. She also is a wildlife rehabilitator with the Ojai Raptor Center, raising owls and songbirds. Oh, and she plays golf every chance she gets!

With 23 years experience training hundreds of clients, Tawny is uniquely qualified to guide you safely toward your fitness goals, or your golf swing improvement quest.


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